Chapter 58217144

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1876-12-23
Page Number2
Word Count798
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAlexandra Times
Trove TitleWongawarra
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CHAPTER VI. Larkin's plan of revengo and murder had been well laid, and nothing but the provl. dential digression of Ellinor from the track, to pluck the soarlet flowers of the Range, had prevented it from being fatal to Fred. Howard, as well as to poor Mr Beveridge. It was his forged letter, a copy of which Ellinor had picked up under the tree, that had drawn the charitable squatter from his home on that lovely Ohristmas morning, and the villain had timed his work well so that his revenge should be a double one. He hated Frederick Howard as a mean spirit must hate all that is noble, and good, and opposite to itself-hated him with the hatred of envy which even demons must feel if they discover a virtue which they can envy but are incapable of feeling. And, besides, Frederick had stepped between him and his early affection for Janio Beveridge, and the humiliation of his snoposed rival would at least be a balm to hisdisapnointment. For he had no chance with the petted child of Wongawarra. She considered him so entirely beneath her that his expressed feel ings were an insult; and so, with every bitterness of heart of which bad humanity is capable, George Larkins set about revenging, at one stroke, the insult put upon him by Mr Beveridge at the moment of his die. graced dismissal, and the proud bearing of Fred Howard. He had found out the hour at which Frederick was expected to join the party at the station, and laid his plans accordingly. It was Fred's horses' feet that Ellinor had heard'coming over the range, and Fred was the first who passed the road after Larkins had fired the fatal shot, and, with natural hsrror, had dismounted and tried to lift up the dead mn, and turn him to a more easy position. Finding that he was really gone past all help, Fred stood beside the corpse in a maze of horror and wonder, when Larklns appeared, and, with paeolonato insult, accused him of the murder.' And so, whileo Ellinor was'lybig inshenible

under the tree, George Larkins had gathered assistance from the station, and the corpse was carried home to Wongaiwarra-a solemn sight that s:r,ny Christmise morning. Frederick Howard followed on liko a man in abewildering dream, guarded,' owever, by the denionstrative Larkions. It:washe Ito /who had denpathed ,a messebger to the nearest polloe station, and who arranged the tableau that haul nearly killed Ellinor Beveridge when she stepped from the veran. dah and witnessed it, It was days after, when the first pain of a gr-at desolation had passed from Wonga. warra-when the dead father had been carried away, and laid to sleep beside his last wife-that Ellinor sat beside her be loved husband under the vine-shaded veran dah, and told the subdued Janie the story of her life. Dusk was fallingdown mistily on the Goulburn, and the soft moonlight was beginning to spread faintly over the grassy plain, and glimmer on Wongawarra Creek. The lonely curlew was screaming down the river, and the monotone of the strange mopoko sounded for away in the forest, when Ellinor, holding her husband's hanl in hers, told Janilhow she had won and lost him. How, long ago, their widowed father left an only child at a quiet school in fair Eng. land; and how Frederick Howard had stolen and kept for sixteen long years a heart that had never strayed from him. flow they were marriodhby stealth, and she returned to her school while he went to the far away land of gold to win a home for his bride. How she chafed at her father's second marriage and refused to share a roof with his new wife, and then how she went out in the world and taught those accomplishments for a living that she had learnol at school. And then she told, with falling tears, that Frederick Howard proudly kisoe away, how rumor had severed her from her distant husband-how she had heard that another love had driven her memory out of his heart -how she hid from his letters and refused to be comforted-until at length her step. mother's death brought her to WVongawarrn, to lose her good father and find a long lost husband. "An entirely your own, my darling Ellinor, as when we parted on our bridal day I Never for one moment, my beloved wife, has my heart strayed from you to the side of any woman-never, never I ' And Janie rose quietly from the side of the wedded lovers, and stole from the shadowed verandah unnoticed ; while night, full of the music of nature-full of breeze. rustlld ounds, and the far cries of birds, and the ripple of flowing water-closed around Wonvawarra.